A host of stars from Africa were in impressive form as their club edged the holders to claim their maiden cup success in Belarus
Rhoda Mulaudzi, Bambanani Mbane, Claudia Dabda, Salimata Simpore and Lebogang Ramalepe made history with Dinamo-BSUPC after beating Minsk 5-4 on penalties to win the Belarusian Women’s Cup title on Monday.
The teams had played out a goalless draw in regulation time before Dinamo won the ensuing penalty kicks to pip Cote d’Ivoire’s Nadege Cisse, Cameroon’s Alvine Njolle and Henrietta Akaba with Minsk.
Going into the final, Minsk were aiming for their ninth title to equal Bobruichanka’s record, while Dinamo were seeking to become the eighth different winner of the competition since 1992.
Coach Maleyew Yury opted for Simpore to lead Dinamo’s attack, while Ramalepe and Dabda were holding the fort in the defence to halt the attack of the holders.
As for coach Vyacheslav Grigorov, he kept faith in defender Njolle and midfielder Cisse to steady the ship for the eight-time winners.
As expected, both teams started on a cautious note, though Dinamo had the upper hand in terms of the ball possession at Dinamo Stadium.
There was very little to report in terms of clear-cut chances in the first half, though Minsk seized the initiative in latter stages of the first 45 minutes as they mounted pressure on the Dinamo defence.
With the first-half ending in scoreless, there was a level of urgency at the start of the second half with Simpore for Dinamo, while Akaba’s introduction could not earn Minsk a breakthrough.
Dinamo had the last try for a goal in regulation time after Mulaudzi was introduced but Minsk were rock-solid to ensure a stalemate.
From there, Akaba, Njolle and Cisse all scored for Minsk as did Mulaudzi and Dabda in the penalty shoot-out, which saw Dinamo triumph with a 5-4 win despite Ramalepe’s miss.